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November 20, 2020

Women’s Health and Family History: Why It Matters

This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 26—the same date as National Family Health History Day! Many healthcare providers encourage patients to use this day as a way to have important conversations about the history of health in your family, so what better day to do that than Thanksgiving? When you’re sitting down with your family members eating delicious food and catching up, consider asking them some questions so you can be more informed about your health.

Know Your Family Health History

It may feel a bit awkward to talk to your extended family members about their health history, but it’s crucial information to know to get the most out of your annual doctor visits. Some of the key questions you should get answered after you have those conversations with your family include:

  • Does my family have a history of certain diseases, conditions, cancers? If so, what were they?
  • Which family members had these conditions? What were their ages at the time of development? What are their biological sexes?
  • Did habits and lifestyle affect the development of these conditions?
  • How long is the average lifespan of your family members?

There may be a chronic condition you don’t know about yet that runs in your family, and unfortunately, some of your family members could have passed away before learning they had a chronic condition. This is why it is so important to gather as much information as possible on your family health history so that you can get any necessary tests, screenings, and preventive care for conditions that run in your family. 

This will help your doctor catch diseases and cancers early on so you can start treatment as early as possible. The most common conditions that run in families are:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer (including colon, stomach, endometrium, lung, bladder, breast, and skin)

Sometimes, conditions that run in families are due to a single gene passed down through generations, so conditions that run in your family may have nothing to do with your habits and how you take care of your body. 

On the other hand, you may be genetically predisposed to certain conditions and yet never develop them because you live a healthy lifestyle. Knowing your family health history and what you are predisposed to can help you determine what your diet should look like, how often you should exercise, what your sleeping habits should be, etc. 

Your life span can also be hereditary, but ultimately, most people’s life spans are determined by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. If you don’t inform yourself of your family health history as early as possible, you run the risk of catching conditions too late, which could require long-term, expensive treatment. 

Not informing your OB/GYN in Miami or any of your other healthcare providers about hereditary diseases and cancers in your family could prove to be life-threatening. Take control of your health and your body this Thanksgiving and have those necessary discussions with your family members—after watching some football and eating some pie, of course.

It’s so important to gather as much information as possible on your family health history so that you can get any necessary tests, screenings, and preventive care for conditions that run in your family.

Women’s Preventive Care in Florida | OB/GYN in Miami

Our OB/GYN in Miami, Dr. Susan Fox, can provide you the best women’s care in Florida and help you determine which exams and treatments are best for you depending on your family health history. We provide multiple types of breast cancer screenings and tests for other types of cancer, such as pap smears and pelvic exams. 

OB/GYNs may evaluate infertility, abnormal pap smears, endometriosis, breast disorders, and incontinence so they can give you life-changing treatment early on. Dr. Susan Fox is here to provide you with the best women’s care in Florida and talk to you about all of the health issues you may be predisposed to.

Schedule a cancer screening with your OB/GYN in Miami during your well woman exam at Dr. Susan Fox’s Center for Women and contact us for any questions or concerns.

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